Why solo and small law firms have a competitive advantage in 2021
General counsel firms are interested in how small law firms utilize technology to create efficiencies
Corporations are cutting legal spend as the COVID economy continues to ravage business. They are looking for accessible and affordable lawyers. Small law firms and solo practitioners can provide instant access to top legal talent at a fraction of the cost.
In addition to corporations, general counsel firms are interested in how small law firms utilize technology to create efficiencies. They are also considering how cost savings might be passed on to them through the reduced overhead achieved by independent attorneys.
Capitalizing on Competitive Advantage
By focusing on competitive advantage, small law firms can bolster their caseloads by highlighting how they benefit their clients. Corporate clients demand attention and services that are unique to their needs. Solo practitioners that understand these needs are better-prepared to position their services in the market to attract new clients.
Here are three competitive advantages of outside general counsel:
Small Law Firms Are More Effective
Legal issues are challenging to predict. However, outside general counsel is becoming more widely-utilized to assist with this problem, especially when atypical cases arise. They have the resources and knowledge to handle them more efficiently and effectively than in-house counsel.
Remaining flexible and innovative is critical to small law firms. Keeping skills sharp, taking on exciting cases, and consistently improving processes are excellent ways to stand out among the sea of law firms in Colorado.
Small Law Firms Provide Unmatched Agility
Without the “red tape” of the Big Law firm environment, independent attorneys typically do not need to run decisions through a chain-of-command. Therefore, they tend to be more responsive and agile versus their larger competitors.
General counsel clients and corporations are demanding more opportunities and flexibility. Solo practitioners must create a service delivery process that is reasonable and works well for both sides. Ensure that the processes you create are insulated from legal mistakes while keeping expenses as low as possible.
Small Law Firms Offer Predictable and Efficient Pricing
Outside counsel offers predictable and efficient pricing to clients in many ways. However, the market is driving the need for independent attorneys to innovate when reducing overhead costs. Areas to consider include office environment, technology, human resources, and other operating costs.
For example, more legal professionals utilize co-working spaces in Denver than in the past, especially in environments that are exclusive to small law firms. This option allows them to retain the advantages of working near other lawyers while reducing their rental costs.
Streamline On-Demand Services
The most vital areas that you should streamline include billing, flexibility, and client knowledge. In-house attorneys and corporate clients are looking for outside counsel that can provide well thought out and quick answers to questions as they arise. They do not merely want “just a lawyer,” but they also want a business partner and advisor.
Most legal clients are not given enough opportunity to offer feedback to their attorneys. Rather than view feedback as an irritating way to invite criticism, do not be afraid to solicit it. Ask clients how satisfied they are with your services, what they like, and how they think you could improve.
Focus on Billing Processes
Cost predictability is crucial to satisfying today’s clients. All billings should be airtight and submitted according to their needs. Ensure that the billing process is repeatable without duplicate steps to reduce potential errors. When meeting with the client initially, discuss the methodologies that they use to address billing and let them know that your team can rise to the occasion.
Since efficiency and cost are competitive advantages, look for ways to reduce overhead costs. If there is unused office space, consider renting it to adjacent practice lawyers or complementary businesses. It is also possible to rent a co-working space in Denver, Colorado that exclusive to lawyers. Find as many opportunities as available to mitigate the number of expenses being passed along to clients.
Small law firms and independent attorneys can be more accessible to general counsel and corporate clients. Focusing on a relationship-based experience allows you to meet their needs in the right place at the right time. Doing so will allow you to provide services that generate word-of-mouth and attorney referrals, even amid the roaring coronavirus pandemic.
Jordan Deifik and Jay Kamlet are Colorado based commercial real estate professionals. They co-own LawBank, the largest and oldest shared office space for lawyers. LawBank has multiple locations in the Denver metro area and Downtown Las Vegas, and offers flexible leasing options to attorneys throughout the region. LawBank also assists larger law firms sublet their vacant office space with small law firm tenants. Learn more about LawBank’s amenities, and the Las Vegas and Denver locations.